Aloha ‘Aina — Stop the Bombing & Ground the Drones at Pohakuloa!
Report on Jan. 19, 2013 “Aloha ‘Aina Stop the Bombing & Ground the Drones” protest at Pohakuloa
Twenty Justice and Peace makers stood in protest outside the main gate at the sprawling 133,000-acre military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) from 10 AM till noon, located in the center of Hawaii island. The main theme of the protest was to stop the bombing and ground the drones at PTA. It was a beautiful clear day to stand for Aloha ‘Aina in opposition to continuing military desecration of the land. Among those who joined in protest were Hawaiian leaders Kahu Napua Burke, Kaliko Kanaele, Kale Gumapac, along with retired Army Colonel and former State Department Diplomat, Ann Wright.
The protest gathering began and ended with a pule (prayer) led by Kahu Burke and throughout the 2 hours had repeated blowing of the pu (conch shells) by Le’a Pu’eoke’a and Simbralin Kanakaole as a call to end the illegal and unjust U.S. military occupation of the independent nation of Hawaii that is now in its 120th year.
The red flags were up at Pohakuloa indicating live-fire military training was taking place. Throughout the 2 hours of the protest, large dust clouds were constantly visible, with wind gusts of an estimated 30 mph. The dust clouds reminded us that depleted uranium (DU) could be blowing in the wind. DU weapons used at PTA have been confirmed by the military. Continued live-fire at Pohakuloa and the high winds that frequent the Saddle Rd. area risk spreading the radiation and other toxic contamination at PTA. Three medical doctors and a naturopathic doctor in Hilo now have patients who have tested high for uranium in their urine. One doctor has reported having a cluster of patients with high uranium. Whether this is linked to uranium weapons used at Pohakuloa needs to be investigated further. The Hawaii Dept. of Health and the U.S. Nuclear regulatory Commission have been asked to investigate but little or no action appears to have been taken by these government agencies. It appears that more citizen pressure is needed and Malu ‘Aina encourages more people to be tested for uranium in their urine.
It has also been confirmed that a new drone airfield has been built at Pohakuloa near Mauna Kea State Park between the old and new Saddle Rd. A variety of drone aircraft training is now taking place at PTA, possibly both surveillance and weaponized drones. The U.S. has used drones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iran, the Philippines, etc. Thousands of people, including many innocent children, have been killed by U.S. drones, resulting in increasing hatred toward the U.S. around the world. Presently 76 countries now have drones. It is estimated that 30,000 drones will be operating within the U.S. by 2016.
As usual, when Malu ‘Aina announces a protest at PTA, members of “The Gathering of Eagles,” were there waving their American and Israeli flags in support of U.S. war policies.